Children give grown-ups an 'E' for achievement

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Half the children in Britain think that adults are doing a bad job of running the country, according to a new Harris poll published by the Children's Society.

Given the chance to become Prime Minister, more than half would concentrate on reducing crime and violence, 47 per cent would give everyone somewhere to live and 39 per cent would tackle racism, poverty and unemployment.

Harris questioned 1,323 seven to 19-year-olds around the country. They discovered that children had many fears about their future, and felt that adults could not be bothered to listen.

The biggest problem children identified was drugs, named by 43 per cent. This figure rose to 64 per cent amongst 13 to 14-year-olds.

The second - named by almost one-third - was not being able to get a job. This was highest amongst 15 to 19-year-olds, who were also most concerned about the quality of education. One in four was worried about violence.

Worries about sex, child abuse, war and accidents came fairly low down on the list, compared with bullying, alcohol, smoking and environmental issues..

Only 2 per cent of teenagers felt that adults running the country were doing a very good job.